Friday, July 3, 2009

Dutchess County Has Ball-Less Reaction To Ball-Less Baseball

Hudson Valley RenegadesYou may remember back on June 9th we told you about the Hudson Valley Renegades "Ball-Less Baseball" promotion scheduled for July 7th. Here is how the promotion was described:
History will be made this July 7th, as the Hudson Valley Renegades defy convention and possibly even common sense when they welcome only the "better half" into their ballpark. On this evening, all men will be greeted in their own separate zone outside the gates, with only female fans permitted inside until the game is official at the 5th inning mark . All boys, seven and under, will be allowed entry at any time- the Renegades' homage to Momma's boys everywhere.

Ladies, venture out to Dutchess Stadium on July 7th for this celebration of femininity and independence, as the Hudson Valley Renegades will honor some of the most powerful and successful women working in baseball. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch will be New York Yankees Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Jean Afterman, one of the most respected and influential executives in Major League Baseball.

In an attempt to either not break (or at least blur) the gender barrier, all male Renegades employees will be dressed in full female attire. Ex Yankee pitcher, and current Renegades Director of Concessions, Joe Ausanio, has made a living using his arm. After this night, however, the Renegades fear he will be known for his legs. Gades head groundskeeper, Tom "Hubby" Hubmaster, not often known for his svelte physique or runway duds, will fill out a moo-moo better than Roseanne ever could, a sight you simply cannot afford to miss.

The "Ball-Less Baseball" idea was the brainchild of the creative ownership team of the Renegades, the Goldklang Group. The target of this campaign was to create a night out at the ballpark solely for women that would both highlight and celebrate their femininity in a stimulating and entertaining atmosphere.

According to Tyler Tumminia, the Group's Vice President of Marketing and Operations, the focus of the evening will be on spotlighting the achievements of women not only in baseball, but in various aspects of life. "We have recognized the significant buying power that women have wielded within our parks for several years, and have seen the growth of females within our industry skyrocket along the same timeline. We wanted to both thank them for their support and empower them to continue their rapid ascent within our ranks. Plus, it will be nice to control the remote for a night without hearing them whine."

The night will feature liberating activities for women such as the ability of one woman in every section to change the images on the video board in center field with a click of the remotes placed under their seats. In addition, women will be able to receive a full spa treatment while enjoying the simplistic pleasures of watching America's favorite past time.

Don't despair men, we will keep you entertained with our tailgating party outside in the parking lot. The game will also be televised live on big screen televisions for your viewing pleasures.

Our stadium DJ predicts sun with a chance of it "Raining Men." So all you "Single Ladies" come pay some "R E S P E C T" to the great women working in baseball while simultaneously enjoying our Ladies Night entertainment.
Sounds innocent enough, right? Just good old minor league baseball fun. Well, not if you are a bureaucrat or a New York lawyer apparently. Sean T. McMann at Renegades Rumblings has the details:
In a two-and-a-half page letter just obtained by the Journal, Dutchess County has asked the Renegades to cancel the team's "Ball-Less Baseball" promotion slated for July 7th.

The letter, dated today, addressed to "Eben Yager, Renegades Manager," and signed by Senior Assistant County Attorney Keith P. Byron, says the promotion, which would keep male spectators outside Dutchess Stadium until midway though Tuesday night's game against the Staten Island Yankees, "likely violates the New York State Human Rights Law and probably violates the guarantee to equal protection under the laws contained in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." The letter goes on to say "New York State Human Rights Law (Executive Law Section 296) expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any place of public accommodation. Clearly, your plan to prohibit admittance based on gender runs afoul of this provision."
Sean reports the Renegades responded to the county as follows:
Renegades team president Jeff Goldklang (seen here) sent the following response to county officials, including Byron: "Thank you for your letter concerning our upcoming promotion designed to honor women which, unfortunately, was forwarded as well to the media. Although you apparently have received inaccurate factual information concerning the promotion, which is reflected in your letter, I do understand your sensitivities. Please be assured that the Renegades will do our best to address those sensitivities in considering additions to the promotion."
It's a good thing Jeff Goldklang is the president of the Renegades and not me. His response was much more diplomatic than my two-word response would have been.


  1. I'm not realy concerned with the "discrimination" aspect, even though I think it is a stupid idea to keep the men out until it is an official game. What I object to is the direction the Renegades front office seems to be going. Last year they tried to promote, "One Night Stand." This year "Ball-less Baseball." Good clean family fun????? How about we start paying attention to the purpose of this stadium---BASEBALL with accompanying promotions dealing with all American family fun.

  2. Oh, I don't disagree that it was kind of a silly promotion, and we also covered the One Night Stand one too, which was worse in my opinion. But it's the Renegades choice to be silly if they want, and this one was clearly meant to be over the top, look at how many things they have listed, it's not just "no guys until the game's official".

    My point was that for the county to have their attorney waste the time to write a 2 and a half page letter is even more silly. Without getting into all of the legal stuff, this is a private contract between the Gades and the ticket buyers, and while I've been out of law school since '91, I don't think the 14th Amendment covers mutually agreed upon contracts between non-government entities. I think where they were going was back to when hotels and restaurants wouldn't serve people of color, but I don't think adult males are a 'protected class'. Now I know nothing about NY law, so there may be a state law problem.

    Any other shysters want to weigh in on my admittedly weak knowledge of 14th Am/1984 claims?

    But back to you're point of the promotion not being good clean fun, agreed. Why go there? I wouldn't, but then I don't own the team so it's not my choice. I'd bet you and I could come up with 5 more interesting promotions in the next hour if we sat down and tried. And none of them would have to involve what's between someone's legs. Princeton has always done a great job with promotions, and they have never done anything 'below the belt' that I'm aware of.

  3. Well they are getting what they want out of the promotion....publicity. Go off the wall and people with come and people will talk just on the shock value. After all people like Howard Stern, Jerry Springer, Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh still have an audience and are still making the media rounds because they are controversial. It works and our twisted morals as a society is the reason why it keeps happening and will continue to happen. Because you know as well as I do, people will still go to the game and they will have gotten their 30 seconds of fame. Plus the MILB will probably even give them one of the top promotions of the year off it.

    I don't agree with it as a person and should the same promotion happen here locally, I would not go. But from a business standpoint they are getting everything they wanted out of it.

  4. Well, it looks as though Goldklang and HV General Manager have no intention of changing their Ball-Less "below-the-belt" name for this promotion. It doesn't seem to matter to them, that they offended many Hudson Valley fans. Hey, they got their way-lots of publicity. But, they have also lost a lot of respect from a lot of Renegades fans -me, being one of them.

  5. Is there anything we Renegades fans can do to prevent Jeff Goldklang, Eben Yager, Tyler Tuminia, etc. from again planning such controversial promotions such as this one?(They claimed credit for this.) Does the Tampa Bay organization have any say on this fiasco? We don't like this kind of publicity up here in the Hudson Valley. but,obviously, they like the publicity this is giving them. Yes, there were events planned for everyone that night, and honoring women is a nice idea, but the Ball-less theme title turned many of us completely off. One local newspaper said they refused to print the themed title and instead called the night, "Fan-less Baseball."- since so many people stayed home. (I have to admit, it was strange seeing so many empty seats, especially when playing the Yankees. This is something that just does not happen here. We usually have great attendance whether weekday or weekend.) People up here come to watch baseball for baseball's sake. If there' a cute promotion, fine, but we don't need attention getting ones to draw fans. 'Nuff said.

  6. I didn't mean to imply that Tampa Bay likes the publicity. I meant its promoters.